"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." ~ Ephesians 3:20-21
Choice is something that makes us human.
We can't escape this fact. While we hope that we are making choices that will not only benefit our lives, but the lives of others, each day we must look to find what truly is important.
Years ago I struggled through a period of depression. It became almost paralyzing when it came to daily decisions, and physically restrained me as I struggled to even get out of bed.
A dear friend and therapist asked me to take a photo of something that brought me "joy."
"Joy?" I asked.
He went on to say that each of us encounter many things in our lives, but ultimately if we are seeking joy, then we have to be able to identify what brings us joy.
With camera in hand, and the dog leash in the other, my aging Schnauzer, Sully, and I headed out to walk the block around the complex I was living in.
The first thing I saw was a bumper sticker, "Save the Ta-tas" (for those persons effected by breast cancer). It made me snicker, and I thought, "I'll just take a picture of this, and see how Tony will react."
I have to admit, the very first picture was filled with a joy of knowing I might shock my friend.
My next photo was of a lizard hiding among the leaves in a shrub next to the condo.
Suddenly I realized I was discovering things that brought me joy all around!
I became excited, looking at the world through a lens, then coming back to my computer, uploading the picture, and then reflecting on what it was that brought me joy.
Joy is really what makes life worth living. Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy.
What's also interesting is that two people can experience the same event, or look at the same photo, and feel completely different. What might bring joy to one, may produce despair to another.
Our ability to identify joy, and share in the experience can be life-changing, and hopefully, encouragement to others.
Since that September day six years ago, I continue the practice each day of seeking out something that brings me joy. It is actually something I look forward to each day, and I can't wait to write and share with others.
Psalm 28:7 shares, "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."
I pray that we all may find joy this day that provides encouragement.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.